"In the study of Philip Sauvain, author, teacher, lecturer and teacher trainer, stood a box upon which he had stuck a handwritten label: Ideas. Of which he had plenty. Never short of a subject to write up, particularly in the field of geography and
history for students, Philip published almost 200 textbooks for primary and secondary schools.
"Writing came to him through the suggestion of a needlework author whom he had met at a dance, and his first book, A Map Reading Companion, came out in 1961. He went on to publish history books, among the most popular being British Economic and Social
History: 1850 to the Present Day, used for GCSEs when they were introduced in 1986, and Vietnam in 1997, which was part..."
He lived in Stowmarket, Suffolk, England and wrote and illustrated at least 200 textbooks. They include the "History Detective" series and the "Target Geography" series.
(Strangely, I can't find more than one or two reader reviews!)
Writer, 1974--. Steyning Grammar School, Sussex, England, head of geography department, 1957-61; Penistone Grammar School, Sheffield, England, head of geography department, 1961-63; James Graham College, Leeds, England, senior lecturer in geography, 1963-
68; Charlotte Mason College of Education, Ambleside, England, head of environmental studies department, 1968-74. Member of committee of Educational Writers' Group, 1978.
"I always find it helpful to envisage the final layout of words and pictures at the time of writing the text. For some time now I have been photographing many of the characteristic features that illustrate the history and geography of the British Isles
and Western Europe. My color transparencies and monochrome prints illustrate most of the books I have written. Indeed, some of my work, such as a set of science-discussion pictures for five-to seven-year-olds, has been largely photographic.
"I first started to write in response to a challenge from an old acquaintance who said, 'Why not write a book for schools?' It is also something of a family tradition. My father and my maternal grandfather (G. A. Humphreys) both wrote school textbooks in
the 1930s, and my great-grandfather Aime Sauvain wrote a French textbook, Presque mot a mot, in 1887. Now, to cap it all, my daughter Rachel--a modern languages editor with Oxford University Press--is carrying on the family tradition of involvement in
educational publishing into a fifth generation!
"Writing and preparing materials for use by children in schools is one of the essential, but least glamorous, branches of authorship. It imposes certain constraints that many general writers might find particularly irksome, such as restricted vocabulary
and writing within strict word limits to the page.
"I shall always remember the day my first book appeared in November, 1961, because I drove into the back of a vehicle half an hour after receiving my complimentary copies through the post!"